• One of our black pointer pups working some chukar. Still have one available to the right home.

  • Kepa posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 day, 7 hours ago

    Hunting with Kepa (HGD) 12/9/17
    In this video you will see Kepa stalking a single Valley Quail using all of his Higgins strategies , the deceleration when in birdie areas, dont rush take your time,air and ground scent, and my favorite part of it all is the thinking Higgins Gundog. Conventional trainers will tell you dogs dont think,well when i see Kepa stalking running birds, and he stops (not pointing just stops) and evaluates the situation before making his next move , i have to disagree, dogs do think and given the proper tools (The Higgins Method) they become very good at it. Kepa did a great job keeping the bird within shooting range, and got rewarded with a bird in the mouth.
    GOOD BOY KEPA

  • Chad Woods uploaded 1 new photo to HGD Community 1 day, 7 hours ago

    Please forgive the not so great picture…I dropped my phone awhile back. This past weekend my pup Griffonpoint X’Bomber really put it together. Steady to wing, shot and fall on this public land pheasant. Due some terrible shooting on my part he was steady to wing, shot and miss on several other birds. I felt terrible for letting him down.
    It’s amazing how much progress you can make in such a short time when you get the right training birds. Scaled quail are the ticket in the thick pastures I train in.
    Thank you Katy for trusting me with this wonderful pup! Thank you Brad for showing me the way!
    Chad

  • Chad Woods posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 week, 5 days ago

    Brad,
    Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning about introducing the e-collar properly. I worked with Bomber in 4 different places throughout the process this afternoon. By the end of it I was recalling him from over 100 yards without tapping him. It’s just a start and I will work it into our hunt training. Just wanted to give you an update and say thanks for everything you’ve taught me. Tell Katy she bred a very smart and cooperative pup!
    Thanks,
    Chad

  • marc commented on Brad Higgins‘s photo 1 week, 5 days ago

    Beautiful and stylish!

  • Brad Higgins uploaded 4 new photos to HGD Community 1 week, 5 days ago

    Here are some photos of Wallace and Des in the field today. Both are from our Basso/Amber breeding. Great steadiness and natural retrieves.

  • marc posted an update in the group HGD Community 2 weeks, 6 days ago

    A short clip of steadiness.

  • BarryD posted an update in the group HGD Community 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    Ran into a couple of guys with a well-meaning but out-of-control GSP. He seemed to want to know what he was doing, but he really had no idea.

    Sophie found a pheasant near them and was locked up, hard. Adrian was searching around the cover when she saw Sophie from way out, went into a stalk, slowly approached around the cover, and did a beautiful natural honor at a perfect distance. The GSP was running around behind them, totally oblivious to the fact that they were on point, or that there might be a bird around.

    I said, “Hi” and nonchalantly walked around to where the dogs were on point, positioned myself where I figured I could shoot best, then released Sophie to flush the pheasant.

    She pounced, driving the bird into the air. I waited and shot, dropping the bird near the two guys.

    When I looked over, their mouths were open. They were downright gushing, raved about how well my dogs had worked, and worked together. They said they’d never seen anything like it, and it was just amazing.

    Brad, I’ve got to get some of your latest business cards to carry in my hunting jacket.

  • Kate Polk posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 month ago

    Loved your podcast! Need to get all those NAVHDA people to listen!
    Greta doing great & will be hunting pheasant in SD later this month…will try to video her & post

  • Brad Higgins uploaded 1 new audio to HGD Community 1 month ago

    Here is an excerpt from a recent interview. Special thanks to Alan Peterson for putting this together.

    If you like it, let me know. We can start doing a podcast.

  • BarryD posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 month, 1 week ago

    Latest and greatest excuse I heard for the failure of conventional gundog training…

    Hunting Buddy: “Oh, Flash just has happy feet.”
    Me: “What?”
    Buddy: “If the bird starts moving, he will probably bump it.”
    Me: “Uh, that just means that he’s never been taught why he would want to wait for the gun. That’s why launching pigeons in front of a dog and shocking him when he moves doesn’t actually work.”
    Buddy: Dark look, changes subject.

    This dog has been boarded for months with a NAVHDA trainer in Montana, more than once. He’s a great GWP who would be an incredible hunting dog after a few days with Brad.

    • That’s the difference between a training method based on obedience and pressure and our method based on trust and cooperation. The best in steadiness (staunchness & intensity) cannot be commanded. It has to be freely given. A conventional method based on obedience will never build trust. As I tell other trainers, you can make a dog respect you but you can’t make him trust you. You must earn your dog’s trust before you can expect him to give you his best.

  • BarryD posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    The City of Boise is currently renovating the local dog park. They’re not changing the 150-yard path from the parking lot to the dog park area, though.

    Whoever designed that, especially in a place where concrete can be icy in Winter, must have never had a dog! You see a lot of dogs dragging their owners the whole way.

    The tools you learn in the Higgins Puppy Partnership make it easy, even with three hyper dogs. Here’s a demo.

  • Kepa posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    Hunting with Kepa (Higgins Gundog)
    Nevada, Opening day 10/14/17

    This video should answer one of the more frequently asked questions.
    If my dog is pointing a covey, and i allow my dog to break for a retrieve on the shot (not before)what will happen?
    As you will see in the video Kepa points a covey of Valley Quail,
    as i move in birds flush, i take the shot, Kepa breaks for the retrieve,more birds flush, Kepa does a stop to flush and i kill him another bird (DOUBLES BABY).
    The Higgins method Stop to Flush strategy is the answer.
    In my many years of experience upland hunting, the stop to flush is the best strategy i have ever experienced, and harvested many birds because of it. Beautiful dog work demonstrated by Kepa in the video, only happens through Freewill, trust, and experience, which is the foundation of the Higgins method.
    GOOD BOY KEPA (HGD)

  • marc posted an update in the group HGD Community 2 months, 1 week ago

    I’d like your input to help me understand Mauser.

    We were pheasant hunting Sunday, and Mauser would find the shot birds, pick them up briefly, but drop them in place despite me kneeling down and calling him. I’d just go over and pick up the bird. Like you explain in your writings, he will fetch thrown objects – even dead pheasant, due to his prey drive, but he is unreliable fetching pheasant. After the last shot bird, he went off to work a hedgerow (he’s a smart boy!), and although out of sight, is only 75 yds away. I hear his bell, and as he’s working the hedgerow away from me, I call him around to work my other side. I called again after he did not come around, and he came bounding out with a dead cock pheasant, presenting it nicely to me. Hmmmm… when I shoot birds, he won’t fetch. When he catches or finds one on his own, he delivers it to me. What do you make of that, and how could I misunderstand what he was trying to tell me? Thanks.

    • Hello Marc. I like these easy ones. The best way to get a natural retrieve is to not ask for it. When he leaves for a retrieve, you turn around and walk the other way slowly. DON’T SAY ANYTHING! When he gets to the bird, he will look up to see where you are. If he sees you walking away, he will pick up the bird and come to you. When he is on his way, drop down on one knee, still facing away. DON’T SAY ANYTHING! He will come to you with his bird.

      When you talk to him and verbally try to encourage him to bring the bird, you are making a handling mistake. He sees that encouragement as pressure and it breaks his focus. He brings birds to you that you didn’t shoot because you did not pressure him for those. Case closed.

      Try this and let me know how it goes. Thanks for keeping in touch on our Community page.

      Higgins

      • LOL! I’m glad I didn’t make you sweat! Thanks. Now that you provided the answer I think I may have read that in your blog a while ago. I makes perfect sense. I’ll take him out tomorrow and see what happens. Film at 11.

          • Hello Marc,

            All in all, nice work. I’d like to go through it with you. First, at 34 seconds in, you swung on the bird before looking at the dog first. Rule #1, Always be looking at the dog on flush. You must be certain he is steady on the flush before looking at the bird. Only takes a split second. This is the hardest thing for us hunters to do. We want to hurry and get our eyes on the target. Slow down. There is plenty of time. Also, I would have probably walked out wide and approached the bird from the right. Would have beed easier to keep my eye on the dog at the flush.

            After you sent the dog for the retrieve the first time (39 seconds in), you walked toward him. Remember what I said. Send him, turn around and walk away. He did not bring it to you the first time because you did not walk away and wait. I like what you did then. You sent him back in and at 2:17, you walked away and waited. Out he came with the bird. Good work.

            • Thanks for the excellent debrief Brad. I shoot lefty, so approaching from the left is a better sight window for me. This is our first few times on pheasant in fields. I have been an upland ruffed grouse for my entire life (as is young Mauser). That’s where I’ve developed the “quick draw”. To me, that was actually slow! I will concentrate on paying attention to Mauser on flush. He caught a weak cock bird last week, and he’s probably thinking he can catch them without me. I still have some quail in my Johnny house at my place, and extra hay bales. Time for a “magic hay bale” lesson session. Thanks again for pointing out my errors!

  • John Malutinok posted an update in the group HGD Community 2 months, 1 week ago

    Brad,
    I have a 3-year old pointer who I recently adopted from a friend who, in turn, got him from a chain-gang style operation where he was presumably exposed to heavy pressure early on because now, he blinks birds. He will go up to a pen-raised bird and point briefly, then turn and move on. When I’ve taken him to the grouse woods, he acts similarly–he will point briefly then move on. Can I help him through this behavior by exposing him to wild birds?

    • Hello John. I see this problem with dogs that have been pressured around birds. Easy to fix in most cases. First we need to know exactly what makes him leave the bird. Is it your approach, did the bird move, did you say anything, is it after a certain amount of time, etc. There is a specific negative association that is causing him to blink. Any ideas?

      • All I know now is that he holds Point for a few seconds, then releases without me saying anything. Could be that he does so when I’m walking up on him, but he releases so quickly that it’s hard to tell. Should I be diagnosing him further with pen birds? Tough to tell when he’s on wild bird dog because I can’t see what the bird is doing.

        • Yes, I would work him on some good flying, pen raised birds. When he points, be quiet, turn around and leave. See what he chooses to do. If you’re not interested in WHY he blinks, you will fail.

  • Here is an excerpt from a recent interview I did. It’s about how dogs see obedience and the pressure associated with it.

  • Edward A. Jesson posted an update in the group HGD Community 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    Brad,

    Thanks for taking the time to talk to me the other day about my gun shy pointer. As a quick follow up (to you and to anyone else who might have experience with this!) when letting him be a puppy again, i.e. chase birds, potentially catch a few, is it best for me to be throwing the birds (be it quail or pigeons) or should I let him find planted birds “naturally”?

    • Hello Ed.
      He needs to find planted birds naturally. Good birds that will fly when pressured by the dog. He needs to catch a few. We need to help him forget the negative association he made between hunting and that loud noise. We do this by building drive. When we have him bumping, chasing and having fun again, we begin reassociating the bang (at a distance) at the most exciting time, a split second before he catches a bird. His drive for the bird must be higher than his fear of the gunshot.

      • Brad,

        I have a follow up question now that I’ve been working with him for a few weeks on this.

        As a reminder, I am dealing with a gun shy pointer. He’s finding the planted birds naturally, and holding point pretty well. However, when he (occasionally I) flush the bird he does not chase. This makes it somewhat difficult to fire a shotgun at a distance!

        Any suggestions here? Other than having a second person fire the gun from a long way off?

        • Hello Ed,

          I release birds in the field. Then I leave and wait at least 10 minuted for the birds to settle. I release the dog. and follow him toward the birds. DON’T go to the dog!!! Stay away at least 100 yards and be quiet. When he finds the bird, leave him alone. He may point. If he does, just wait as long as it takes him to decide to flush the bird. If he flushes but does not chase, don’t shoot. Repeat this a few times and he will soon begin chasing. Don’t shoot the first few he chases. Let him catch them with no gunshot. Once he is happy again bumping, chasing and catching birds, we begin including the gunshot.

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